Sridevi’s Fashion Boo Boo

Sridevi with husband Boney Kapoor. Click on the picture to enlarge and see what we're talking about!

Sridevi with husband Boney Kapoor. Click on the picture to enlarge and see what we’re talking about!

Okay, first things first. I’m a fan of Sridevi’s dress sense. She can carry off a short tube dress with the same elegance that she does a simple chiffon sari or a heavily emroidered anarkali. She just turned 50 and still refuses to get predictable in the wardrobe department. An innate dress sense is unarguably a quality that most can only hope to posses, but Sri has it in abundance.

So, it’s surprising to see her turn up at designer duo Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla’s “The Golden Peacock”, an evening of couture for the Sahachari Foundation at The Ball Room, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai. While there’s nothing wrong with the choice of dress, it’s the bulging bosom that has us staring/ wondering/ confused…? You gotta admit, it’s very unlike Sri, who always dresses to impress, not to attract unwanted attention.

Sridevi and Boney Kapoor. Click on image to enlarge and get a better view.

Sridevi and Boney Kapoor. Click on image to enlarge and get a better view.

It’s Raining Burgers at the Manchester United Cafe Bar…

It’s that time of the year when Manchester United Cafe Bar launches its month long special menu. Last year, it was a range of pizzas, this time there are as many as 19 varieties of burgers to gorge on. The ongoing International Burger Festival has a special menu of burgers named after soccer players from different regions. So you can choose from Baichung Burger from India, Ola Hernandez Burger from Mexico or the Zeng Cheng Burger from China, among others. The names make the burgers sound yummy already, don’t they?


A platter of the Mexican, Thailand and Lebanese mini-burgers.

The likes of Wayne Rooney, Freddy Adu and Baichung Bhutia are being dished out at a cafe bar in the city — definitely the thought of devouring these gorgeous burgers can’t just be passed on!
I dropped by at Man Utd and saw many fans indulging in the long list of burgers. A glance at the menu and it was clear that a lot of thought had been put into its making.


The Jamaican non veg burger has coconut crumbled crab meat in it. Yummy on the whole, but avoid if you’re not a fan of a patty with coconut flavour…

I went to MUCB determined to feast on at least 10 of the 19 special burgers. But one look at the size of each burger and I knew it would take a miracle to get past even one! That’s when I was introduced to a combo platter of 4 Mini Burgers. Cute little versions of the Thailand, Lebanese, Mexican and Indian burgers come on a tray with assorted dips and french fries. A general observation was that keeping in cue with international standards, none of the burgers were too spicy and all came with layers of lettuce, onions, customised spices and sauces. Unfortunately, the mini-burgers’ selection is restricted to only four vegetarian and non vegetarian options. A spirit dampener, because otherwise one can easily devour 10 – 15 minis. Meat lovers can rejoice as the choices range from chicken, crab, lobster, pork and beef burgers.
There are a variety of combo offers too. The Old Trafford Home Combo has Indian, Mexican, Lebanese and England burgers with fries, salad and five international dips, for Rs 700 + taxes.
At Rs 899 (plus taxes), The Free Kick offer allows you to buy any one burger and get unlimited Budweiser beer! And trust me — if you’re the kind whose beer seems to diminish faster than food on your table, this is the offer to go for! The giant sized burger will last you longer than you’d have imagined, anyway…
Happy Burger-ing 😀


The Mexican mini-burger. Cheese slices, chicken patty, tangy salsa, chipotle mayonnaise and jalapenos. A wholesome little meal on its own!

Mumbai addresses:
Manchester United Café Bar Level 3, Palladium, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel West (022-43601111)
Manchester United Café Bar Ground Floor, R City Mall, Phase 2, Ghatkopar (W), Mumbai Ground Floor, R City Mall, Phase 2 (022- 66429850)
Manchester United Café Bar, Level 3, Infiniti Mall, Malad Village, Malad Link Road, Malad (W), Mumbai- 400064 (61960300)

The Dogg to tour Delhi and Pune… makes announcement in Mumbai


Popular American rapper Snoop Dogg is knows how to work up a crowd. He doesn’t wait to do that only during his concert but takes it upon himself to jazz up what would otherwise have been lackluster press announcements. In Mumbai, on Thursday, he told the media that he was definitely looking forward to see what India’s got in store for him as he tours Delhi and Pune for his concert this month. The Dogg humoured the audience as he announced, “I am excited to be performing in India with my first ever concert tour. India produces some bangin’ music and movies, and I have always wanted to visit and be a part of that, ya dig? I want my gigs to be the best party for my fans and I can’t wait to show the country some love! Get ready India, because here comes the King!” Even though the Dogg wore with his trademark straight face expression while making that statement, one couldn’t help but mentally picture him move his hands as if he were rapping, each time he spoke to the media. Well, like they say, you know the person is a star, when you tell the real from the make-believe persona… because they eventually unite to become one… and that, friends, is Snoop Dogg for ya’ll.


Concert details:

Amanora Park, Pune on 11th January, 2013

Leisure Valley, Huda Grounds, Gurgaon on 13th January 2013


Irish House, Mumbai: Guzzle, guzzle, eat, eat…

Irish House, which had only one Mumbai address till now – in Palladium at Lower Parel, now has an outpost in Kala Ghoda. My friends and I dropped by on a weekend and were pleased to see that Kala Ghoda now has another cool joint to unwind in. Looks and ambience wise, both the joints are almost identical, a common trait with most restaurant/pub chains. Dim lights, super cool music and plate full of food pretty much summarises Irish House. Yes, Ireland is a cold place and the guys like their food to arrive in big portions and they have a soft corner for beer and all things meaty. Irish House doesn’t disappoint when it comes to recreating Ireland to the core, and dare I say, it does bring to life a small yet significant piece of the local Irish culture in Mumbai. I mean think about it, aren’t you fed up of being served six pieces of perfectly sliced fried potato when you order French Fries in most joints. Ask for Nachos and you’ll be staring at a plate with 10 triangles with creamy sauce on, if you’re lucky, four of them. In Irish House, one serving of Nachos is enough to keep you going for the next hour or two.

Irish House - KalaGhoda, Mumbai

Irish House – KalaGhoda, Mumbai

On the drinks front, the joint has several types of beer for aficionados. Murphy’s and Chinese beer to name a few. Ask for an assortment of Beer shots if you are in the mood to sample ’em all. The bar boasts of over 30 varieties of beer, Irish whiskies and single malts. Cocktails such as the Chocolate Martini (recommended) and several spiced Mojitos are also on the menu. The Mexican Mojito was a hit with those who like their drinks laced with a tangy minty flavor. We also loved the Smoked Chicken Crostini, Rs250 (smoked chicken and artichoke with mozzarella on toasted bread) and the Rolling Duck, Rs 425 (aromatic roasted duck wrapped in a spring roll and served with chili plum sauce). Lamb Pie, The Irish Lions Chicken Tenders and the Prawns Chermoula are a few of the other must-haves from the menu.

Lamb Pie

Lamb Pie

On the down side, the Onion rings, which is listed as the World’s Best Onion Rings, Rs 200, on the menu is a disaster with oil dripping on the edges and street side bhajiya like coating to them and are an instant put off.

But who really goes to a bar to enjoy a hearty meal? At least not anyone I know… So, generous portions of good food are just an added reason to visit Irish House. The real reason, of course, is to soak in a distinct vibe that each bar/lounge/pub emits. Irish House has an unmistakable laid back Irish charm to it. Wooden décor here plays a very vital role in establishing laid back and gung ho in the same space. Irish House doesn’t compromise on space either. There are all types of seating, near the bar, corner tables, bar stools and regular tables laid out for guests. You’ll find young collegians, corporate groups, foreigners and even senior citizens in designer garbs letting their hair down at Irish House. Obviously, a haunt that is attracting people from all walks and age groups, has to have something to write home about, no?

The Irish Lions Chicken Tenders

The Irish Lions Chicken Tenders


The Irish House, Rampart Row,

30 K. Dubash Marg, Kalaghoda,

Mumbai 400023

Tel: (+91-22) 49150001/02

Timings: 12 noon to 1:30 am

Facebook Trends, 2012: Select City Walk in Delhi the ‘Most Checked In’ location, and Tumhi Ho Bandhu from Cocktail the most Shared song on FB…

Facebook Trends, 2012 in India

Facebook Trends, 2012 in India

Facebook’s 2012 trends list for India reveals fascinating insights into India’s social behavior.

Chart showing most 'Checked In' locations on Facebook, in India, on 2012

Chart showing most ‘Checked In’ locations on Facebook, in India, on 2012

§  India’s Most Checked-in locations in 2012

Based on the list of most checked-in locations, it shows that people from India’s metro cities tend to check in more, in comparison to other Indian cities. Delhi-ites seem to be the more proactive, as most of the checked-in locations in the top 20 list belong to the capital city.

The Indian urban consumers’ love for modern day retail outlets is reflected in the fact that Select City Walk, a popular mall in south Delhi, is the most checked-in location on Facebook for 2012. Ambience mall from Delhi, Inorbit mall from Mumbai and The Great India Place in Delhi NCR are also within the overall top 15.

Café 1 Boulevard, a café in South Delhi, eclipses chains such as Hard Rock Café, Delhi, Leopold Café, Mumbai and Toit, Bangalore, to claim the top spot for cafes and restaurants, in the most checked-in location for 2012. Local north India favorite, Sukhdev Dhaba at Murthal, took number #4 spot, in the most checked-in location for 2012.

The top songs shared on Facebook in 2012 for India goes to reiterate that Bollywood continues to dominate the Indian music industry. The most shared song on Facebook was ‘Tum Hi Ho Bandhu’ from the movie Cocktail. That was followed by ‘Daaru Desi’ again from Cocktail and then ‘Pani Da Rang’ from Vicky Donor, at number #2 and #3 spots respectively. The results clearly showcase the fascination for the music from Cocktail.

Chart showing most shared songs on Facebook in 2012

Chart showing most shared songs on Facebook in 2012

36 Oak & Barley: Simple ambience, Amazing food

The interiors

The biggest difference, in my experience as a food addict, between the quality of preparations in a fine dining restaurant and a regular joint is how you feel, 30 minutes after your meal. Think of how your stomach feels after consuming half a plate of oily biryani from a road side joint. Most would say, stuffed and heavy, like they’ve had enough for the next two days!! Food well prepared doesn’t make you feel like that. The tummy is satiated with the food levels gradually filling you up. The soul is nourished.
36 Oak & Barley, at Kemps Corner, gets full marks for that pleasant after feeling, even though you may have just hogged on 8-10 dishes. My friends and I had that many dishes (of course, we shared each preparation), and most dishes were generous with butter and olive oil in them.

Roasted Beets, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad Orange Dressing

I won’t get into ‘must-try’ dishes here. That, I believe, depends on individual tastes. But I will testify to the fact that dishes served had succulent chicken chunks, fresh Basa and silky Goat’s cheese in them. When the key ingredients are impressive, you can’t help but take a liking to the food, can you? Chef Nachiket Shetye, the man behind the dishes is known for mix-n-match styles; combining unlikely ingredients to come up with preparations with a twist.
The Chicken Dumplings come with Spiced Thai Coconut Broth and the 36 O&B Signature Tomato and Basil Soup is served with a lump of orange sorbet. An unusual combination, you can taste spice and the fruity sorbet distinctly with each spoonful. The Ravioli, traditional Italian filled pasta, was floating in olive oil, and I soaked each square some more in the fragrant oil before gulping them down. Heaven.

Vanilla and Berry Panna Cotta

The dessert menu has a lot of options with chocolate in them, but we went with Nachiket’s recommendation and had the Vanilla and Berry Panna Cotta. A die hard chocolate fan, it takes a lot for me to praise desserts without any chocolate in them. But I’ll admit that this one offers balance to the taste buds, the vanilla Panna Cotta comes alive with the berry mush as an accompaniment. A rocker, indeed!!!

Rating: 4 out of 5 Enjoy

Address: 36 Oak and Barley, 76 Nidhi, August Kranti Marg, Off Kemps Corner, Cumballa Hill, Mumbai: 400036.
Call: 022 2381 1010

36 OB Food Menu Full

Ritu Beri opens up on criticism for her opulent designs, the most expensive book authored by her and more…

Based in New Delhi, Indian fashion designer Ritu Beri is the first Asian designer to head the French fashion brand, Scherrer. We caught up with the style guru when she came to Mumbai to promote her festive collection for the season. She discusses her new line, future plans and one of the most expensive books, authored by her…

In conversation with Ritu Beri…

Model Lisa Haydon in a Ritu Beri design

Your appearances in Indian fashion events are far few and in between. Why do you keep your fans here waiting so long to catch a glimpse of your work and you?
Ritu Beri: Firstly I love Mumbai, so I am always happy to be here. My schedule has kept me very busy and I have been away travelling, hence I have not been available in the past and I’m now showcasing in Mumbai.

You wanted to start lifestyle stores. What’s the update on that?

Ritu Beri: I intend to establish “Cultural Embassies” representing the Exotic, Mystical and Magical aspects of Asia in Various Forms. The affinity between various cultures culminates in a miracle of perfection and I want to show this to the world.

Whose style sense impresses you — in Bollywood and Hollywood. Why?
Ritu Beri:
Amongst the Indian celebrities, Rekha is who I admire as a person and her charismatic and sophisticated style. Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness is another favourite.

Your designs have sometimes met with criticism, that they’re too opulent or over the top. Your take…
Ritu Beri:
I love to explore the impossibilities and work in an inspired mode while mostly designing to satisfy myself. I love to work with rich brocades, jacquards, chiffon and georgettes, fabrics that lend sensuality to any look. I try to blend the old world charm of traditional embroideries with modern day patterns and shapes to create interesting textures that allure any look.

You are showing your festive wear line in Kimaya. Can you please describe your line, your inspirations, target audience, etc…
Ritu Beri:
The collection is inspired by our rich culture and heritage. The line comprises of opulent and elaborate silhouettes. The spirit is intrinsically feminine, romantic but flamboyant; the collection is about rich, artistic hand work modelled into contemporary silhouettes with subtle details of embroidery to enhance the soft feminine appeal. Our brand has the same spirit ‘The essence of art meets the divinity of designer couture’ and our target audience is the same.

You wrote and published the most expensive book till date — Firefly – A Fairytale. Any plans to unleash the author in you again?
Ritu Beri:
Firefly is about my experiences in the fashion industry. It is not an autobiography and I prefer to call it a fairy tale. I enjoy exploring the impossibilities and like to work in an inspired mode only to satisfy myself and my passions. I love doing homes and furniture. I dream of writing many inspirational books and more than anything else I keep on doing my charity.

If you don’t mind me asking — why was the book so highly priced (Rs 1 lakh each)?
Ritu Beri:
Firefly was a limited edition of 100 copies. The book release was a great success. It sold out in hours and we went in to print the second edition the very next day.

Ritu Beri

Sridevi shines in coral: The grand return of pop hues

Bollywood actor Sridevi with daughters Jhanavi (in beige) and Khushi

It’s official. Pop colours are back. Designers have been harping about pop shades, bright candy hues and fluorescent tones staging a comeback for a year now; almost every brand worth its salt has introduced slim fit pants in a variety of colours – but when it was when I saw Sridevi attend the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour in Mumbai, with her two daughters in tow, dressed to kill in a flowy coral hued strappy Nandita Mahtani gown, that I realized color was here to stay for quite some time.
Mandira Wirk, Nandita Mahtani, Vikram Phadnis – the designers unleashed colour heavy lines on the runway. And the tones had a fluorescent edge to them.

Mandira Wirk’s collection, inspired by London, had bold cuts and shades that would make the person donning it make heads turn on a summery day, lending depth to the pleasant, soft sun rays.

Model wearing Mandira Wirk

Nandita Mahtani’s creations had glamour, and an indulgent trait to them, thanks to the fluorescent hues.

Model wearing Nandita Mahtani outfit

Vikram Phadnis’ line had Indian clothes, with strong Turkish influences. He teamed muted kurtas with netted skirts in bright peach and bubbly butterfly greens. I can already see the trend being a rage with the swish set, soon trickling down to the masses as well. Bring it on!

Starbucks Mumbai review: Strictly OKAY coffee, good food and could-do-better seating.

Star Club Sandwich

There’s so much hype surrounding Starbucks that I, like many others in Mumbai, just had to check it out. But I decided to wait for the excitement to die down to avoid standing in a long queue to enter The Coffee Shop.
So, I went there on a weekday and after spending a good an hour and a half in the coffee shop, I still can’t understand why would anyone want to wait over 30 minutes to get into this place or take pictures of its every nook and corner, behaving like star struck Bollywood fans. Starbucks serves you beverages disposable cups with your name written on it and one wannabe friend of a friend actually took a picture of herself with the cup and kept the cup as a souvenir for a good week at his work desk, till a colleague who couldn’t stand her admiring a week old used coffee cup anymore, crushed it and threw it in the bin. Yes, Starbucks mania has hit coffee fans in Mumbai. I am a coffee fan and love sitting in coffee shops for hours together. As I gather, most people like me, looking to spend lazy evenings with friends in a coffee shop want comfort, relaxing ambience, good coffee and decent food to match in the outlet.

Twin Barrel Sausage Roll

Here’s what we liked about the Starbucks standalone outlet at Horniman Circle, Mumbai.
* The ambience is very tavern like, laid back, rugged and casual. Coffee mugs, cups and beans up for sale are neatly dumped in large containers.
* Lights, yellow, are dim and muted.
* The outlet is spacious, with a mezzanine level too.
* The staff is friendly, courteous and have mastered the ‘I’m-ever-ready-to-help-you-out’ look on their faces.
* The menu has interesting options and most of them deliver on the taste front too.
* The Salmon and Cream Cheese Croissant is yummy. Priced at Rs 130, the croissant is soft and oozes thin layers of cream, cheese and bits of salmon into your mouth. Sharing this croissant is highly recommend because a) it’s stuffed with cheese and cream – distribute the calories. b) all that cream and cheese makes you feel stuffy in no time.
* Star Club Sandwich — a star shaped burger of sorts, has egg, chicken patty, cheese and a layer of green leaves in it. One of my favourites from the menu, it balances all the elements excellently. You can have an entire one by yourself and still be game for more. Rs 160.
* Twin Barrel Sausage Roll, Rs 90, is sausage rolls with flaky exteriors. A bland sausage taste envelopes your mouth with each bite, so have it with ketchup to avoid feeling bored.
* My total bill came to Rs 798 and 76 paise. And Starbucks rounded the amount to Rs 798 instead of Rs 799. Unheard of in today’s times…

What didn’t work:
* There is only one billing counter, which means a never ending queue to place your order and another one to collect the beverage!
* The seating styles are weird and uncomfortable. Some tables have regular chairs around them, while some have majestic wide-width ones circling them. These chairs are so far apart that you can’t help but notch up your volume a few decibels more than what is considered decent and invite stares from fellow patrons.
* The Vanilla Latte and Caramel Macchiato taste identical or so similar, you can’t tell one from the other. We were tempted to ask for a replacement, but the thought of standing in that ever growing queue to even get an opportunity to talk to the staff made us gulp down the twin beverages, without a sound.
* The music. It’s a coffee shop. It’s Starbucks. Don’t make us feel like we’re in the lobby of a 5-Star hotel. Play some peppy numbers, pleaaaaase.
* Ooh!!! And my friend and I spotted a couple of tiny creatures hovering in the coffee beans container near the blenders. By the time we could draw our fellow companion’s attention to them, they disappeared. We’re still wondering if we were the lucky recipients of coffee with insect juice in it that evening! Guess we’ll never know. Sigh!

The Salmon and Cream Cheese Croissant

Bottomline: Starbucks… just another friendly neighbourhood coffee shop.

There’s something very Sabya about this Nari creation

Is it just me, or there’s something very Sabya about this Narendra Kumar Ahmed mish mash desi creation that model Evelyn Sharma was spotted in at the Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser, co hosted by Estee Lauder on Tuesday night. BTW, we think Evelyn has what it takes to sweep Bollywood off its feet. An Indian face, petite frame, good dress sense and she’s done a good job in several TVCs till date. So, when is the big Bollywood launch, Evelyn? The event took place at Aer in Mumbai.